Mayoral Candidate Diop Olugbala Denounces Nutter’s Curfew Plan

A small crowd gathered on the west side of City Hall this afternoon to catch a speech by Diop Olugbala, who just announced his intention to run for mayor as an independent. They’re there to listen to his denouncement of Mayor Nutter’s plan to fight flash mobs by putting harsh restrictions on misbehaving youth caught breaking curfew.

“The curfew is completely inappropriate—it’s really a collective punishment on the masses of the people in the city, particularly the black and Latino community,” says Olugbala—who’s affiliated with the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement—referring to Nutter’s controversial sermon last weekend.

Olugbala says he wants to create a youth-relations commission to give a platform for young Philadelphians to voice their concerns. “We’re saying the money going towards the building of more prisons … needs to go toward schools to provide a real meaningful future for our youth.” He says that he wants to fight the budget cuts to the School District and add vocational programs to provide skills to the city’s youth.

“The only solution that comes even close to what we’re saying, coming from my opponent, is to extend the hours of recreation centers for two hours,” Olugbala says.

“I’m also calling for a community-controlled board of education that has the ability to hire and fire faculty, administration and staff and also create the curriculum for the schools. I intend to wipe the slate clean and build from the bottom up.” Something tells us he’s not the only one who would support that idea.

By Olugbala’s side is Simon “One Punch” Carr, a former professional boxer from Philly who says he plans on spearheading Olugbala’s idea for the creation of a youth commission.

On Monday, Carr sported an IPledge T-shirt at Nutter’s flash-mob-crackdown announcement, not far from where Olugbala’s press conference took place today. Carr says while he supports the IPledge campaign, he thinks Olugbala’s idea for a youth commission and more youth-oriented programming are part of the solution to youth violence and flash mobs. He says that, as a worker at a recreation center, he’s already been in contact with young people interested in participating in the commission.

“I’m still pledging … to be there for the youth,” Ogbula says, but he notes, “just opening up a rec center for an additional two hours, do you think the youth are really going to go there?” He notes that no new programs, such as recreational activities or dances, have been mentioned in the mayor’s plan. “I thought about that the other day and it just didn’t sit with me too well.”

14 Responses to “ Mayoral Candidate Diop Olugbala Denounces Nutter’s Curfew Plan ”

  1. Anne says:

    I for one think that this young man is a breath of fresh air. His ideas sound like real solutions to me! I think I’ll be voting Diop for Mayor of Philadelphia!

  2. I understand the mayor’s reaction and call for curfew, but at the same time I completely agree with Diop’s thoughts. I’m personally committed to mentoring the youth…not just corralling them. We need to be mentoring the youth in business, music and the arts…..and with that…teach them how to be positive forces in our communities. Everyone needs to be heard…we need something to belong to. Well, let’s get in there and ask the difficult questions and then give of ourselves to make it better! Anyone with me?

  3. Harris says:

    There’s no one better to mentor and guide the impoverished black youth of this city than a leader who comes from the same conditions and community as them, who is committed to providing solutions to the economic problems rather than rely on aggressive police containment policies. The current administration attacks these youth and calls them names; Diop Olugbala will provide economic development, a Youth Commission, real leadership and opportunities. That’s why he has my vote!

  4. Carolyn says:

    I’m not located in the Philly area, but growing up in the projects of NY, I was thankful for the after school activities (during the Kennedy years). How many kids can even ride a bike anymore? Diop…your dedication and spirit to our impoverished and struggling youth is needed throughout this country. They are the future. If I was a resident in Philly…you would most definitely have my vote. I hope other potential candidates elsewhere will follow your lead. Yes people…it does take a village to raise a child

  5. phillychezdoddle says:

    Good article, thanks for posting. I agree with the other person who posted that Olugbala’s statements are a breath of fresh air.

    I can’t even remember the last time we’ve had a mayoral candidate who actually stood up for the black and Latino communities of Philadelphia….I know I am not the only one who will be glad to see Nutter go… Nutter is godawful and there’s no way I’m voting for the republican candidate. I really hope the people of this city strongly strongly consider the Independent candidate on this election.

    If you look at what Nutter said recently about the flash mob incidents and compare those statemanets to what Olugbala is saying here, it’s pretty obvious who is the more reasonable and qualified person to lead. I’m going to keep my eye on this campaign, but I think it’s safe to say that Diop Olugbala has my vote.

  6. Concernedcitizen says:

    Black and Latino youth and working class deserve a future. Neither Republican or Democrat offer solutions for the impoverished communities. In fact, they offer the opposite. Oppression and imprisonment. Stop the curfews. Stop “stop and frisk.” By U.S. standards this goes against the constitution. I’m white and I’m ashamed that the State ignores human rights when it comes to blacks and latinos. Bailing out banks and stealing tax payers money to serve the elite is the real crime. Its time for real change. I support Diop!

  7. Sharon says:

    I love how all of the Uhuru Solidarity people posted as if they are not in his organizaton with Diop. I have know Diop for years and he has never done ANYTHING for the community but talk a good game and sleep with many Women. Ask him to produce one thing he has done as a activist for the people! I am pretty sure running for Mayor was not even his decision. If Mayor he will just use this time to promote the fan club of Omali Yeshitela called the Uhuru Movement!

  8. powertothepeople says:

    For many years Diop has consistently stood up for the people and organized around issues particularly those affecting the youth. While the city and politicians have done their best to write off and criminalize the black youth in particular, Diop has stood up on the side of the people and given a voice to their interests and demands.

    He is known in the community as a defender and fighter for the Black and Latino working class communities and has earned much respect for his work as an organizer and activist. He is a respected figure not only among the organization he works with, but among the entire social justice community of Philadelphia and throughout the country as well.

    Because has taken controversial stands before and has never wavered in his positions, his opponents will inevitably resort to childish and vicious slander in an attempt to discredit him. As you can see from one of the comments posted earlier on this thread, his opponents will refuse to take on his positions on the real issues and will instead focus on insignificant and irrelevant accusations about the candidate’s personal life. But that’s okay because the people will see right through it, the people are ready for a change and Diop represents that change.

    The tactic of slander is common in the political game where the real important issues are secondary. The reason I support Diop is because he clearly represents a different kind of politics altogether – for the people and by the people.

  9. William Redmond says:

    Same old retoric BS! Everything this guy and all the others before him already exist. I’ve been hearing this CRAP since I was a kid 50 years ago. After school programs, education, playgrounds etc only work for the kids that go to school, try to get an education and participate in sports etc. Aparently judging by the need for more cops, prisons and the like, all the things that they’ve asked for aren’t working! Sooner or later the individual and his/her family has to take responcibility for their actions on the street and lack of action at home. Stop throwing good money after bad on things that don’t work. Wake up and realize that civil peace starts at HOME. Stop asking the village to raise your child after the damage was started and continues at their home. By using all our resources to try to fix the people who don’t give a damn about others we ignore the people who are trying to just live their life, walk down the street without fear and raise their family. The minority of the population that refuse to live by societies rules get all the attention robbing the law abiding people of even more.

  10. Eric says:

    I don’t know much of anything about Mr. Olugbala or his organization so I will not comment on any of that. I just want to echo the sentiments of Mr. Redmond above. You can talk all you want about programs and preparing youth and all of that – that’s all very nice but it doesn’t address the very clear and present danger that exists on the streets of Philadelphia. High ideals and white guilt are not going to stop the filthy, disgusting animals that have been the perpetrators of the recent violence and mayhem. Only agressive policing and law enforcement will do that. With a lot of these kids, the damage is already done. They are already thugs with no regard or respect for anything or anyone – why they are that way is beside the point as far as an appropriate law enforcement strategy is concerned. I am all for efforts to give opportunities and education for young people, but this is not and either-or question. Decent, law-abiding people of ALL races deserve to be able to walk the streets of Center City without having to feat being attacked by gangs of vicious black teenagers. Period.

  11. ant says:

    This animal says the curfew is segregation? It’s YOUR people that’s are running around like crazed rabid monkeys beating on people because your daddy was in jail or you have a broken home. Cry me a fucking river. If anything your black unity club is racist. If there was a whites only club your naacp horse shit would try to shut it down. I say keep with the curfew for ever. Cage the animal. There only going to end up in jail anyways.

  12. [...] b&#1091 a handful &#959f advisors &#1072nd supporters—stood outside City Hall &#1072nd announced h&#1110&#1109 independent candidacy f&#959r mayor, taking &#959n Nutter &#1072nd Republican challenger Karen Brown &#1110n a three-way [...]

  13. [...] the 34-year-old—flanked by a handful of advisors and supporters—stood outside City Hall and announced his independent candidacy for mayor, taking on Nutter and Republican challenger Karen Brown in a three-way [...]

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